Blog

One Woman’s Journey from Christianity to Judaism

Hi, I’m Holly, the Ger Girl. Depending on who you ask, the term “ger” means different things. For some, a ger is a convert to Judaism. For others, its a righteous gentile that accepts the authority of the Torah. Technically, because I’m a woman, this blog should be called “the giyoret girl”, but it doesn’t have the same ring as The Ger Girl. I am in the amazing, beautiful process of converting to Judaism, and I’m not alone. This blog is for converts, future converts, or people generally interested in Judaism. I have a lot to learn. And since you’ve found this page, I hope you’ll enjoy learning along with me.

On this site you’ll find links to Jewish literature and art, questions and answers about conversion, information about the contrasts between Judaism and Christianity, testimonials, my own ramblings, and more. If you have a suggestion for this site, please feel free to share it! And if you’ve come across this page by happenstance, I hope you’ll return. Perhaps you were sent here for a reason.

Baruch HaShem,

Holly

That’s a Wrap

As we close out another Shabbat, I spent part of the last twenty-five hours marveling in the mitzvah of head covering. Thanks to the wonderful women at Wrapunzel, I received some gorgeous fabrics and accessories to wrap myself in at a great price! You may be wondering… why do many observant Jewish women cover their […]

The Weird Space Between

Last week, I started my first Jewish conversion class over zoom. There was no opening prayer, or assumption that our perceptions about G-d were the same. In Christianity, every meeting started with a prayer, every gathering asked for G-d’s presence. But as I stumble through pronouncing the Hebrew morning blessings and the bedtime Shema in […]

On Judaism & Animals

In this time of COVID and quarantine, there is one trend worthy of a positive headline. Animal shelters across America are seeing a record number of pet adoptions. If we can’t have our morning office banter, or our weekly coffee date, we’ll opt for a purring cat on our lap or a sleeping dog curled […]

Lashon Hara

Say what? Lashon hara are words that hurt. It can be lies, but it is also speaking truth that harms someone or discredits their reputation. Sometimes Lashon Hara can be positive speech overheard by a third party that hurts the feelings of others. Often times, after an observant Jew prays the Shema, they recite six […]

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I lit the candles.

I’ve imagined this Shabbat in my head hundreds of times.

I would make Challah, there would be red wine.

There would be no playing on the electronics, no online shopping, no binge watching shows.

By 4:00pm, I decided I would buy Challah. There’s a restuarant just five blocks away that makes it fresh every Friday.

But I never got there.

By 7:00pm, I checked the candle lighting times on Chabad.Org: the candles should be lit by 8:22pm in my corner of the world.

I looked on my hutch and found two candles; I bought them two summers ago, when we were selling our old house and I wanted prospective home buyers to think our house always smelled of violet, or fresh lemon, and not the dirty laundry of my teen boys, or the cat boxes hidden away in the attic where Mr. Whiskers and Bella liked to hide.

At 7:56pm, I took the candles and placed them on our dining room table which was still littered with gift bags from my daughter’s seventh birthday, pieces of art projects from earlier in the week, and a life sized baby doll. I asked my husband for a lighter that he had hidden away in the garage.

At 7:59pm I decided to open the red wine, but we searched every drawer, even the junk drawer, and could find no bottle opener. We found lots of band aids, two decks of cards, and lots of pennies and broken barrettes, but no wine opener.

So I gave up on the wine and pulled an orange shandy beer from the beverage drawer in the fridge. I left it on the counter unopened.

At 8:03pm I lit the candles. I showed my daughter how to cover her eyes and I read the prayer, knowing that I was mispronouncing the Hebrew. My daughter loved the words so much, she asked me to say the blessing again, slowly, so she could repeat it.

Painting “Shabbat Queen” by Lena Kotliarker for purchase on Etsy

I did as she asked, thinking that this time, maybe I was pronouncing the Hebrew a little better.

Someday soon, I told her, we’ll buy pretty long candles with holders, and we’ll buy a Havdalah candle, too.

“What’s a Havdalah candle?” She asked.

“I’ll tell you tomorrow night, when we light another candle,” I said.

Which one will it be? The violet or the lemon?

I sighed, and opened my twist off beer.

HaShem understands, I thought to myself.

Sometimes just lighting candles is enough.

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